Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lunch today at Loaves & Fishes

INGREDIENT
QUANTITY
Apple & Eve white grape juice1.0 x Custom Food (125g)
Bologna, pork4.0 x 1 slice, medium (4-1/2" dia x 1/8" thick) (1 oz) (28g)
Bread, wheat2.0 x 1 slice (25g)
Cheese, cheddar1.0 x 1 slice (1 oz) (28g)
Cheetos Crunchy cheese-flavored snacks1.0 x Custom Food (18g)
Cracker Jack1.0 x Custom Food (28g)
Crackers, cheese, sandwich-type with peanut butter filling
1.0 x 6 cracker (39g)
Mustard, prepared, yellow1.0 x 1 tsp or 1 packet (5g)
Peaches, canned, extra light syrup, solids and liquids4.0 x 1 ounce (28g)
When I went for lunch, today, at Loaves & Fishes, I, like everyone, was given a sack lunch.

I cannot say that all lunches distributed were the same, but very most likely all were the same or very similar to what I received, which was the following:
  • A hotdog bun
  • Four slices of ham-based bologna
  • A slice of processed cheddar cheese
  • Two 11 oz bottles of water
  • A 1-oz box of Cracker Jack
  • 1/4-cup container of peach-and-pear chunks
  • 1.38-oz package of Austin Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter
  • 5/8-oz package off Cheetos Crunchy cheese-flavored snacks
  • 4.23 fl oz waxed bottle-box of Apple&Eve White Grape juice
  • a small packet of yellow mustard
I thought it would be interesting to use this lunch as a first (unofficial) instance of testing the nutrition of what Loaves & Fishes serves poor people. It was my contention two years ago that what was served was so unhealthy, it bordered on criminal. Things have since gotten better, but it is still not a healthful place for people, in my opinion. And, indeed, nobody knows how healthy/unhealthy the food is because the nonprofit specifically refuses government funds in order not to have its activities overseen.

The table [above right] shows how I 'entered' the meal. Where it says "custom food," it means I entered the item off the nutrition information cited on the package.

Here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/1719929/2?nc=1&autosave=form.info.autosave#ixzz0udUWGtlV you can see SPECIFICALLY what I entered and the evaluation of the meal at NutritionData.com.

The lunch had 1066 calories, which is approximately half what you should eat in a day.  There were 51 grams of fat, which is 79% of the daily allowance.  There were 17 grams of saturated fat, which is 86% of the daily allowance.

Cholesterol, carbohydrates and fiber were good; about what you should get from a meal. But it had 98% of the salt one should consume in a day, and salt is something that has recently been shown to be something we should all cut way, way back on.

Basically, it is a terrible meal.  It is understandable that sack lunches are likely to be less nutritious than hot lunches, but this lunch was extraordinarily bad, in a health awareness sense. For a homeless person it is a meal from hell.

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